Pithy Paradoxes, Tricky Tautologies

I’ve always had a thing for catchy sayings of two different related kinds, which are almost mirror images of each other.

The first kind of saying is the paradox that seems plausible at first reading, but becomes apparently contradictory after you think about it.  For example,

As everyone knows, Truth is absolutely subjective.

James Taranto gave us a lower brow example when

  1. jetstream

    No trespassing, violators will be persecuted.

  2. Charlotte

    This puts me in mind of Yogi Berra:

    “It gets late early out there.”

    “No one goes [to that restaurant] anymore, it’s too crowded.”

    “If the world was perfect, it wouldn’t be.”

    These aren’t exactly what you were asking for, but far be it from me to pass up an opportunity to quote Yogi.

  3. Gretchen

    My parents claimed their school principal would threaten, “If you don’t behave, I’ll send you ALL to the back of the line!”

  4. Mark Wilson
    Charlotte: This puts me in mind of Yogi Berra:

    “It gets late early out there.”

    “No one goes [to that restaurant] anymore, it’s too crowded.”

    “If the world was perfect, it wouldn’t be.”

    These aren’t exactly what you were asking for, but far be it from me to pass up an opportunity to quote Yogi. · 2 minutes ago

    Charlotte, those first two are exactly what I’m looking for!

    I don’t really get the third one though.  Is he saying a world without flaws would be so boring that its perfection would be its flaw?

  5. Charlotte
    Mark Wilson I don’t really get the third one though.  Is he saying a world without flaws would be so boring that its perfection would be its flaw?

    I have absolutely no idea. I just think it’s funny. :-)

  6. MLH

    It’s farther up north than it is by train.

    Do you walk to school or carry your lunch?

    On the other hand, a glove.

  7. Israel P.
    R. Craigen

      · 7 hours ago

    Edited 7 hours ago

    Frog parking only. Others will be toad?

  8. Keith

    “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”  -  Bilbo Baggins

  9. Joseph Paquette

    “Same difference.” 

  10. Terry Mott

    Was it Yogi Berra that said, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it”?

  11. Charlotte
    Terry Mott: Was it Yogi Berra that said, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it”?

    Probably! And even if it wasn’t Yogi, it should have been.

  12. Miffed White Male

    Does “The older I get, the better I was” count?

  13. Miffed White Male
    jetstream: No trespassing, violators will be persecuted. · 3 hours ago

    No Lawyers, Prosecutors will be violated.

  14. Barkha Herman

    I am besides myself?  (that always bothered me)

  15. Dave Carter
    C

    The history teacher got angry with our chit chat one day and said, “I want to hear quiet!” Some smarty guy said, “How do you know when you hear quiet?” Thoroughly exasperated, the teacher shot back, “I know when I hear quiet because when I hear quiet I can’t hear anything!” Priceless…

  16. Israel P.

    There is a very old Hebrew expression “to do nights like days,” meaning to work very hard.

    Most people say it the wrong way around “to do days like nights,” which essentially means to sleep at work.

  17. Modus Ponens

    I think a few people missed the memo about those self-contradictory statements.

  18. Foxman
    Barkha Herman: I am besides myself?  (that always bothered me) · 1 hour ago

    Just what does “head over heels” mean?  Seems to me that’s the nomal position.

  19. R. Craigen

     Cut your legs off with that lawn mower — don’t come running to me (type II)

    Now hope I don’t seem condescending … uh, condescending?  “Condescending” means talking down to someone.  (type I)

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